Fort Worth, Texas: The Frontier Of Innovation

This city’s solid foundation and agile ecosystems support growth across traditional and emerging industries.

Fort Worth Economic DevelopmentSponsored by Fort Worth Economic Development
From the September/October 2022 Issue

Innovation and improvisation have always played a role in Fort Worth. In the early days of the American West, new ways of working and thinking were essential to survive, expand, and keep people connected. As the seeds of a great city were being sown, Fort Worth embraced innovation, offering plenty of resources and opportunities to cattlemen and wildcatters. There are fewer spurs and chaps these days, but Fort Worth continues to pioneer new breakthroughs and build upon its legacy of success and exponential business growth.

As Fort Worth continues to attract more companies and people, entrepreneurs and industry leaders are benefiting from Fort Worth’s business-friendly approach. The city works hard to create synergies between key industries and its public and private sectors. Unlike other major business hubs in the U.S., Fort Worth’s proven economic landscape and ability to foster cross-industry collaboration in mobility, energy, aerospace and defense, healthcare, manufacturing, and more have already led to transformational breakthroughs in policy regulation and technology. The result benefits residents and advances innovation while letting business flourish.

“One of Fort Worth’s greatest strengths is how well its key industries work together and support each other. As an example, our city’s world-class intermodal logistics hub is an incredible asset for manufacturing companies and businesses in our energy and healthcare sectors who depend on the quick, efficient movement of materials, supplies, and equipment.” — Robert Sturns, City of Fort Worth Director of Economic Development

A Collaboration-Driven Environment

The city’s unique ecosystem supports companies like Linear Labs, the Fort Worth-based motor company that created a new class of machine—the Hunstable Electric Turbine, which produces twice the torque for the same size, weight, and input energy than similar-sized motors. The development of this electric motor is part of the company’s larger plan to reshore the manufacturing of critical infrastructure, improve supply chain logistics, and advance electrification and new forms of energy throughout the region.

Fort Worth Economic Development
(Photo: Fort Worth Economic Development / Jeremy Enlow)

The key to achieving that goal is a sustainable source of critical minerals such as lithium, graphite, and magnets used to power electric vehicles (EV) and other technologies. That’s why companies like MP Materials, which processes rare earth elements, are expanding to Fort Worth. After receiving a $35 million contract with the Department of Defense, MP Materials broke ground on a 200,000-square-foot magnet manufacturing facility in Fort Worth with the potential to power 500,000 EV motors annually. As the world transitions to a clean energy economy, partnerships like this will be essential to restoring the U.S. supply chain.

An Epicenter of Innovation and Talent

But innovation doesn’t stop there. The colleges and universities in Fort Worth are leading at every level, leveraging the city’s major industries to create programs and opportunities for workforce development. Now more than ever, higher education institutions are focused on creating workforce pipelines that benefit students, employers, and the community at large. The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth (HSC) recently invested in a Regional Simulation Center, the first facility of its kind in Texas. This cutting-edge technology allows medical students to develop their skills in an immersive training environment, including 360-degree virtual-reality projections that mirror real-world experiences.

Fort Worth Economic Development
(Photo: Fort Worth Economic Development / Jeremy Enlow)

Economic growth can create a workforce deficit, but partnerships between the City of Fort Worth, higher ed institutions, and the business community are already ahead of the curve. Other institutions, like Texas A&M University’s School of Law and Texas Christian University, are expanding their footprint in the city by building ties with a diverse list of community partners through their respective new projects­—an urban research center located downtown called “Aggieland North”, and a new medical school.

There’s something about Fort Worth that invites opportunity. A pioneering spirit that persists and advances innovation combined with more than enough room to accommodate rapid growth. In the next few years, the city plans to expand its convention center, develop waterfront real estate along the Trinity River, and increase workspace availability downtown. As the city ushers in a new era of innovation, it is also building the foundation to support new startups, expand corporate and community partnerships, and nurture inventive thinking and new technology. No matter what the future looks like, Fort Worth is where it begins.

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